Stingers drop nail-biter to Loggers

LA CROSSE, Wis.—The Stingers bats were hot in the early going Saturday night, but the Loggers held Willmar scoreless over the final four innings and then hit a walk-off two-run home run in the bottom of the ninth to nip the Stingers 6-5 at Copeland Park.

Following a scoreless first inning for both sides, the Stingers (37-19 overall, 15-10 second half) manufactured the first run of the game in the top half of the second against Loggers' starter Adam Cline. With the two first outs already recorded in the inning, Tyler Cohen began the rally with his infield single on a ball hit into the hole between shortstop and third. Max Ayoub followed with a walk to push Cohen to second base, and then Brian Pruett blooped a single into center field to make it a 1-0 Stingers' lead.

In the top of the third inning, the Stingers continued to display their long range power as Dan Motl led off the frame with his third home run of the year to make it a 2-0 advantage. The home run marked the 12th time in the last 19 games the Stingers have hit at least one home run in a game.

The Loggers (29-28, 8-14) finally struck in the bottom of the third inning for their first run against Stingers' starter Kurt Yinger, adding a second run in the bottom of the fourth to tie the game at two. But Willmar responded right away in the next half inning in the top of the fifth, as the Stingers tallied three runs to open back up a comfortable cushion. Again Dan Motl led the inning off with a hit, this time with a single into left field. After Jack Ross flew out, Nick Rivera smacked his team-leading 11th home run of the year to make it a 4-2 lead. Casey Hughston followed the homer with a walk. With Brett Barbier at the plate, Hughston stole second, went to third on an error on the same play, and then came into score on Barbier's sacrifice fly to make it 5-2.

The Loggers stayed patient, though, and scored single runs in the sixth and seventh innings to make it 5-4 going to the bottom of the ninth. With the tying run on second base, La Crosse's Jack Meggs hit the third pitch from Brady Anderson over the right field wall to give the Loggers the win.

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Tonight’s Center for Diagnostic Imaging player of the game was Dan Motl. CDI is your local medical imaging provider. It’s your choice where you go for medical imaging, for MRI, CT, mammograms and pain injections, choose CDI. Visit online at